Big future tipped for Spirit Of St Louis
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson has been associated with some quality horses over the years and he may have unearthed another one.
Spirit Of St Louis extended his burgeoning record to eight wins from just 12 starts at Addington Raceway on Friday night when taking out the Spectators – Tasty Pizza Mobile Pace (1980m).
The son of Sweet Lou settled to the rear of the field from his outside barrier for driver Matthew Williamson who sat patiently behind the gelding for the majority of the race.
The three-year-old gelding showed his blistering turn of foot when sent three-wide at the 800m mark and within a blink of an eye he was sitting outside leader Cast No Shadow.
Spirit Of St Louis was able to relax before Williamson asked him to extend again turning for home where he was able to withhold the challenge of Matt Damon to win by a neck, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Bettathanfast in third.
“He has come to the big dance a little bit, drew the outside and showed how good he is,” Anderson said.
“The great thing about him is that he will relax. He got around them and just dropped the bit again, which is a quality of a good horse.
“You combine a bit of speed with a good mental attitude and you create a nice horse.”
The exciting gelding has only finished outside the top two once in his career and Anderson believes he has a bright future ahead of him.
“Everything has been a win and a second a part from one day at Roxburgh where he was going the other way in the standing start and they let them go, and he was pulled up,” Anderson said.
“He has never let anybody down in his life and today (Friday) showed that he is right there.
“We were pretty disappointed he couldn’t get to the Derby and the Jewels. We had backed him right off and prepared him all year to go to those races.
“We have just pushed on and our judgment has been justified by what he has done in the last couple of weeks.”
While disappointed to have missed the opportunity to target the three-year-old features, Anderson is eyeing some lofty targets for his gelding next season.
“I see the Supremacy Stakes (Gr.2, 2700m) is going to come back, which will be in Invercargill in October. That is a $50,000 race he is qualified for and we will target that,” he said.
“After that we can nominate for a few races around the place and wait and see.
“It is a difficult one when his record is great and he hasn’t had a lot of racing. But with the handicapping system as it is he is almost an open class horse, so we have to roll with the flow.”
Anderson has a lot of time for Spirit Of St Louis and is already comparing him to his former topliner Eamon Maguire, who went on to win the Gr.1 Messenger (2700m) and Gr.1 4YO Emerald (1609m) for trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
“He has got as much speed as Eamon Maguire and he is very relaxed,” Anderson said. “This guy has got all the speed and all the attributes of a good horse.
“After Christmas the Taylor Mile and Messenger could be on the cards. Eamon
Maguire won and placed in those races and this horse is probably as good as him, so we will be looking at them.”